Bahrain approves Oxford-AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine for emergency use

Vaccine is third to be approved by Bahrain for emergency use following Sinopharm and Pfizer-BioNtech shots

An employees handles vials of Covishield, the local name for the Covid-19 vaccine developed by AstraZeneca Plc. and the University of Oxford, on the production of line at the Serum Institute of India Ltd. Hadaspar plant in Pune, Maharashtra, India, on Friday, Jan. 22, 2021. Serum, which is the world's largest vaccine maker by volume, has an agreement with AstraZeneca to produce at least a billion doses. Photographer: Dhiraj Singh/Bloomberg
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Bahrain's National Health Regulatory Authority has approved the emergency use of Covishield, the Covid-19 vaccine produced by AstraZeneca in co-operation with the University of Oxford.

The vaccine is manufactured by the Serum Institute of India, the world's largest vaccine manufacturer.

Its approval in Bahrain was based on the study carried out by the regulator's Clinical Research Committee and the Ministry of Health's Immunisation Committee. Over the past three days, India has sent more than four million doses of Covishield to countries like Bangladesh, Myanmar and Nepal.

The Serum Institute obtained a licence to manufacture the vaccine in India from AstraZeneca in co-operation with the University of Oxford.

The country’s external affairs ministry has said it will soon begin the shipment of Covid-19 vaccines to Saudi Arabia.

Oman has also requested supplies.

The Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine is the third to be approved by Bahrain for emergency use, following the SinoPharm and Pfizer-BioNtech shots, in efforts to contain the spread of the virus.

Last month, the King issued a directive to provide vaccinations against Covid-19 to the public for free.

According to a Johns Hopkins report, Bahrain had reported a total of 99,817 cases, including 367 deaths  as of January 25.